Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When Your Sick Pet Threatens Your Marriage...

This title is a bit of an overstatement. A bit...

Ben the cat is my first real pet. "Real" in that he walks around, plays, snuggles, knows me, has a personality, etc.

(But while we're talking about pets, RIP Mr. Marbles and Miss Coco the hamsters, Walter and Sharky the beta fish, and Gordo the goldfish - you guys brought me light & love everyday.)

Moving on. Ben is a pretty cool guy, as well. He loves to hang out with people & always be where the action is. He follows me around. He's big & fat & soft & snuggily. He likes to chase beams of light and a ball on a string (until he gets too tired, then he lays down and lazily paws at whatever he's chasing).

As I've posted before, he's having some stomach trouble. More or less, he's thrown up at least once a day for the past two months. At least once a day - because sometimes it's as many as four times. And generally, it's small - like the diameter of four quarters sitting next to each other - just a little droplet of puke. But sometimes it's large, like quite a lot of puke/bile. And whatever the size, it's still getting everywhere (carpet, really nice Persian rug, woven rug, couches, blankets, etc.) and staining. Which, of course I've become a master at cleaning up the best I can - but there are still a ton of puke stains in our house.

Now enter the threatening your marriage part. Which it isn't. But as you can imagine, if I'm annoyed by the puke (& Ben's my sweet little lovable guy), you can think about how Jonathan feels. Not that Jonathan doesn't love our little kitty - and he was such a good daddy when I was out of town - but Jonathan also loves the nice, expensive furniture & rug we have in the living room, you know? And it's every. day. Usually at least a couple times a day.

We've been to the vet a few times. He's been on different medicines, none of which have worked. He's on a ridiculously expensive special food that he doesn't even like. They've done bloodwork that came back normal. We've probably spend around $600-$700 dollars.

$600-$700 dollars!

The next step would be to do an xray ($200) which could come back inconclusive. If that's inconclusive, the next step is to stick a tube with a camera down his throat and look at his stomach & stuff from the inside. That would most likely find something that would need to be surgically attended to. ($$$)

One of the pre-marital talks Jonathan and I had was about the expense of pets. Around that time, my dad's dog was being treated at a doggy cancer hospital ($$$) where she then died. It seemed like such a waste of $3000+. We decided together that there's a point with animals where you just have to draw the line. Now of course, if we win the lottery or something, and have millions to spare, bring on the doggy day spas and what not. But since we haven't won yet, we're still kind of in that freakout period of being newly married - we need to be saving money for: new house, new car for me in a couple years, Jonathan's law school debt, baby, future children's private schooling, future children's college, etc. We're in saving mode.

And Ben is 14 years old. I hate to write that - but it's something we're weighing in with all these decisions. Additionally, we've said for awhile now that when I get pregnant, we need to find a new home for him (since my mom is terribly allergic & will obviously need to move in with us for a week or two after baby is born). But what on Earth do we do? I think the logical solution (if we don't want to spend more money) is to just let him be right now. He doesn't seem to have any personality changes, he's still moving around fine, we'll just let him be. But then, we'll need to give him to someone within the year probably, and no one's going to want a cat who throws up everyday.

And...the vomiting right now.

It's weighing on us. It's causing not fights, per se, but added tension to our house. (And it's ruining our furniture, rugs, and carpet.) And it doesn't ever stop. Every single day there's more vomit.

What do you guys think? I guess I always imagined that Ben would remain healthy until age 17 and would then just peacefully die in his sleep. I guess that isn't really how the lives of pets go all the time. How have you guys handled pet stuff in the past? Do you have any tried & true rules, I will not spend more than $____ on a pet's illness?

1 comment:

b|rad said...

my brother's dog, Milly, has a vomit issue. She would throw up daily. He kept taking her in and having tests done and they were all inconclusive. He basically monitors her eating/drinking and never gives her too much at a time or lets her drink whenever she wants. It's made the vomit subside so I guess it's some gastro issue of ingesting too much.

It's definitely not his favorite part of owning her but he's dealing with it...

Sad day about Ben! But I definitely understand getting to a point where you don't know what else to do!!